Conflict and Critisim
Conflict and criticism are all around us. Just turn on the news and you hear one person criticizing another. On social media, there are now such terms as Twitter beef. And we see in our relationships conflict arise all around us. Have you ever lost sleep over a disagreement? Most of us have. Conflict is not comfortable and many of us don’t know what to do with it.
How do you handle conflict?
Are you an avoider? If you don’t deal with it, you're passive, or you hope by not dealing with it, it will just go away.
Are you a spewer? You tend to think the loudest person wins, so you rant and rave.
Maybe you’re a worrier? You worry that you caused conflict, often even before it has happened or without it happening at all.
Conflict related stress hurts us spiritually as well as physically. Ohio State University Of Medicine did a study that showed how our immune systems weaken as confilct arises in us. It’s no wonder God’s word tell us to get along! God cares deeply for both our physical as well as our spiritual health.
How can we respond in a Godly way to both confilict and criticism, so we can truly live at peace with others? Romans 12 shows us three ways to start responding better to conflict:.
- If possible live at peace with everybody. [Romans 12:18] If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Notice Paul (the author of Romans) doesn’t say “as much as it depends on your spouse” or “as much as it depends on your boss”. No! Peace making depends on us. Do your part to bring peace. Avoiding, spewing, or worring are not great ways to handle conflict, and are not doing your part to keep peace. A great starting point is apologizing. When is the last time you said you're sorry? If possible, live at peace with everybody.
- Never repay evil with evil. [Romans 12:20–21] On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry,feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap buringing coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. This is a tough one to swallow. Some of us have been deeply hurt by somebody we trust and it is hard for us to think of doing anything kind to them or towards them. Remember God cares for your health very deeply and personally, so He only asks us to do things that will bring us closer to that health in our lives. God understands that harboring unforgivness, bitterness, or hate in your heart is like drinking posion and expecting the other person to be harmed by it. Those things only hurt you more. Try starting by simply praying for that person. If you struggle in this area seek out a pastor, counselor, or friend to talk to about it. Its time to live in freedom!
- Do your part and leave the rest to God. [Romans 12:19] Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay” says the Lord. As we do our part to keep peace with everybody, we can trust and leave God to do His part. God is a just God. He is full of grace, but there are clear consequences to sin, as found in [Romans 6:23] ...the wages of sin is death. God has the ultimate say and He will be the judge over all, and that is something you can rest in.
For further teaching on this watch this video of Pastor Josh on Facebook. Please comment below!